Microsoft testing new Internet search engine Kumo

Mar 03, 2009
The logo for Microsoft at their office in Herndon, Virginia. Microsoft on Tuesday confirmed it is testing a new Internet search engine it hopes will power the US software giant out of distant third place in a market dominated by Google.

Microsoft on Tuesday confirmed it is testing a new Internet search engine it hopes will power the US software giant out of distant third place in a market dominated by Google.

A Kumo.com search engine being privately tested by Microsoft workers is reportedly based on semantic technology that enables it to understand sentences and relationships between words.

Current search engines, including software used by Google, rely on matching words typed into search boxes with those found at websites and in data found on the Internet.

"There's a good deal of excitement brewing over this test, both internally and externally, which we're always glad to see," Microsoft Live Search general manager Mike Nichols wrote in an online message.

"Our hope is that our employees will give us great feedback on our new features and that it all becomes part of the external experience soon."

The Internet has buzzed with speculation regarding whether Microsoft intends to replace its Live Search with Kumo since an internal memo written about it by Satya Nadella, a Microsoft senior vice president, was leaked online this week.

Microsoft said Tuesday that the memo that ricocheted quickly about the Web "is in fact accurate."

Nichols posted a "sneak peek" screenshot of Kumo with his message at an official Live Search blog website.

Nichols said it remains to be determined whether the Kumo codename with replace "Live Search" when it makes its public debut.

"We're using the Kumo brand and URL for this test experience to make sure employees understand they're in a test experience," Nichols wrote.

"We believe this will encourage more active feedback. As for rebranding, it's something we're still considering."

Nadella said in his memo that statistics show that people searching online often don't find what they seek and that Internet hunts take more than 20 minutes in nearly half of the cases.

"We believe we can provide a better and more useful search experience that helps you not just search but accomplish tasks," Nadella wrote.

"During the test, features will vary by country, but you'll see results organized in a way that saves you more time."

Microsoft tried last year to buy Yahoo! for 47.5 billion dollars in a vain effort to merge online resources to better battle Google, which rules more than 60 percent of the US online search market.

Yahoo!'s share of the market is about 21 percent and Microsoft trails with 8.5 percent, according to recent figures from industry tracking firms.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has stated publically that he is still open to a deal with Yahoo!, which recently hired a new chief executive who is mulling the California Internet pioneer's options.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: 'Anti-Facebook' social network gets fresh funding

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Latin America universities fail to make grade

Oct 13, 2014

Nobel prize week can prompt uncomfortable soul-searching at universities in Latin America, which has produced relatively few winners in the sciences—a symptom, experts say, of the region's struggles in ...

Doctors connecting to symptoms searchers in Google trial

Oct 13, 2014

You know how the Internet is a go-to hub of content and a risky end-all of content as advice you should use. You know this each time you had an ache or pain and looked up your symptoms. You came away with the ...

Recommended for you

Facebook goes retro with 'Rooms' chat app

15 hours ago

Facebook on Thursday released an application that lets people create virtual "rooms" to chat about whatever they wish using any name they would like.

Some online shoppers pay more than others, study shows

16 hours ago

Internet users regularly receive all kinds of personalized content, from Google search results to product recommendations on Amazon. This is thanks to the complex algorithms that produce results based on users' profiles and ...

Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

Oct 22, 2014

Twitter on Wednesday set out to weave itself into mobile applications with a free "Fabric" platform to help developers build better programs and make more money.

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

Oct 22, 2014

Google is introducing an application designed to make it easier for its Gmail users to find and manage important information that can often become buried in their inboxes.

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Suzu
not rated yet Mar 03, 2009
Is this something Japanese came up with? Given the Japanese word for the whole thing. Kumo = Cloud. %u96F2
JohnC
not rated yet Mar 03, 2009
I looked up "kumo" in my Japanese-English dictionary and it translates it as "spider".
Arikin
5 / 5 (1) Mar 03, 2009
Yes it means both spider and cloud(y) depending on the Kanji used. Maybe MS picked it for both meanings? Spidering through the web and tag clouds?

Hope they figure out something. We've been trying for years to accurately determine context. But most likely you will need more than one sentence as a sample in the search.
CreepyD
not rated yet Mar 04, 2009
Well Microsoft are big on Cloud computing these days, and it's a spider too, clever.
It sounds like an intriguing idea.